Hi From Cedar Grove, Brisbane..


Premium Member
Oct 17, 2018
Cedar Grove
Hi, my name is Lou and although my husband and I are not close to being self sufficient, that's definitely our end plan. We have so much trouble with bugs in the Summer and clay soil all year round. At the moment we are having lots of luck with peanuts, corn, asparagus, tomatoes, lettuce and carrots. Bring on the summer heat and that will all go down hill.:( I enjoy reading your posts and will have lots of questions in the future:)


Staff member
May 27, 2012
Bellmere, QLD
Hi @Lou and thank you for joining SSC!

Summer can be a challenging time to grow in warm climates such as the subtropics but there are certain crops you can turn to that will do well and much better than traditional crops usually grown in temperate or cold climates through their summers.

In our subtropical summer try growing things like:
  • Corn
  • Egyptian spinach
  • Sweet potato
  • Jerusalem artichokes
  • Gourds
  • Winged beans
  • Madagascan beans
  • Sanke beans
  • Traditional climbing beans
  • Rosella
  • Bunching onions, spring, or walking onions
  • Asparagus
  • Turmeric
  • Ginger
  • Yacon
  • Experiment with different herbs as most will grow ok
  • Okra
  • Chilies/capsicum
  • Ceylon spinach or climbing spinach
  • Amaranth
  • Kangkong
  • Peanuts
I'm sure others can think of more but the list above are just some of the plants that grow well through a humid subtropical summer. Combined with several fruit trees and you can have a great variety of backyard produce through the harshest time of the year until the weather cools and then you can begin growing those traditional crops again.


Valued Member
Premium Member
Sep 27, 2015
Pomona, Qld
Hello Lou and welcome.
Tell us more about your bug problem.
Being down Jimboomba way, would you have red soil?
Even if it is black soil, gypsum is your first port of call for short term benefit of smaller areas, but for long term benefit to larger areas compost is the way to go.
Lots and lots!
Make it in a covered bathtub worm farm set up on concrete blocks so the rodents cant get in if using kitchen scraps.
But you can make it right on the ground where you intend to plant if using whatever you can get hold of free or almost free in bulk volumes in your area.
Stable manure comes to mind for down there along with grass clippings or chipped/mulched up prunings say from a garden contractor.
Pile it up in thin layers to knee height and as long a row as you need it to be. Add some blood and bone and chook manure type pelleted fertilizer between the layers, water only if really necessary, then cover and leave for the worms to do the rest. It will heat up really hot as the green waste does its job then the worms wil move in.

In 6mths it will be ready. At the end you can turn it into the soil with a big potato fork if you need the exercise or just simply plant into that area.
If growing veg, only use the area once before spelling for a season to help prevent pest problems.
There are broiler and egg farms down that way too I think where you should be able to buy fresh chook manure by the truckload. The best stuff comes when they clean the sheds out. Hopefully you should be able to buy it directly from a carrier. If the only way you can get bulk manure is through your local landscape yard, order the shed cleanings specially. Pile it 10-15cm high in rows a meter wide by however long you want, top with course mulch like sugar cane and leave for the worms to work it through. Unfortunately it will have some dead animals and feathers in it but that is just blood and bone in a different form. Upcycle them into your garden so their death was not in vain.

Shed cleanings are the best stuff to help soil of pretty much any type.
When I lived at Maleny I had heavy red soil, so I used to get fresh cow manure from a dairy farm which I layered up with sawdust from the hardwood mill down the range, the manure from my own horse stud, free trailer loads of green waste from the council tip down the road and chicken shed cleanings that came up from Landsborough. The worms absolutely loved it. The soil became soft and friable in about 4mths and so long as I kept it covered against drying out in the dry season, it remained that way.
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Valued Member
Premium Member
Nov 12, 2014
SE Queensland, Australia
Hi Lou, welcome to the forum. Summer in sub tropical climates can certainly be challenging. Not just hard on the veggie but on us working out in the humid weather and of course depends on how much rain we get can use more water. Last summer was when I rested the beds and only had a few things growing.
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